Bad Coffee?

I’ve been drinking coffee for a long time. I have gotten to the point where I know which brands I like and which ones I don’t. I very rarely stray from them when I am home.

While I tend to prefer certain flavored coffees, when it comes to just plain coffee, I get Tim Hortons. At our Sam’s Club I can get a big bag for what it costs for a small bag in the store.

Last time we went, I bought two bags. I have a container I store it in that seals up tight, so it stays fresh. I poured them both in the container one bag on top of the other.

Yesterday, we reached the half way point of the container. So, I’m guessing we are hitting the first of the two bags. Something suddenly tasted different.

I’m not sure what it is, but it is almost like the coffee is extra weak. I made a second pot with more scoops wondering if that would help, but it didn’t. It still tastes weak.

We bought new coffee filters, and I thought it might be those. So I brewed a pot with the old filters. It still tasted the same. The only thing I can think of is that it was a bum bag of coffee.

Is that a thing? I mean, I’ve been buying it for years and this is the first time it has tasted funny. Bad beans? I don’t know.

We have to do some shopping this week. I may have to buy a flavored coffee and brew a pot just to be sure it isn’t the pot itself.

In the meantime, I need coffee and it is the only stuff in the house. So I suppose I will be stuck with it for another day or so ..

Too early …

They are doing a big upgrade at work this week. Because of that, I’m on days for part of the week. In order to be here at 6am, I had to get up at 3am. I haven’t done that since I did a morning radio show on a daily basis!! At least when I did mornings, I only worked 15 minutes away. The hour and ten minute drive … in the dark … is very difficult to do!

Not only are you fighting to stay awake with a cup of coffee, windows down, and radio blaring, but it is the time of year when car/deer accidents are on the rise. Yesterday morning, I saw 3-4 deer just hanging out on the side of the road. I was just waiting for one to jump out in front of me. This morning on my way in, there were two places on the road where the remnants of some sort of animal got creamed by a car.

I’m back on nights tomorrow night, so I’ll have to switch back to midnight mode. I have a feeling that come Saturday, I’m going to be exhausted!

Darkness and a Laugh

Normally, I sleep until about 4 or 4:30 in the afternoon on work days. I was pretty exhausted when I got home this morning, so I was looking forward to a good sleep. That didn’t happen.

I have sleep apnea. I sleep with a CPAP machine. With it on, my apnea issues are resolved and I sleep through the night (or day). I was abruptly awakened this afternoon around 2:00pm. I didn’t quite know what happened and then realized that my CPAP was not on. I reached over to turn on the light – nothing. No display on the CPAP, either. The power was out.

Sam had come in about 1pm to nap while Ella napped. The baby monitor, which she had turned on when she came in was now beeping because it lost the connection to the camera. The camera runs on electricity, while the monitor has a battery. So, now we were both up. I tried to go back to sleep, but my apnea would wake me up the minute I fell asleep.

Eventually Ella woke up and I went in to get her. Naturally, for the next couple hours I was reminded of all the things we just take for granted. There were no lights in the bathroom, so I had to shower by the lantern light before work. Our oven/stove is electric, so the dinner we planned on having didn’t happen. We ended up grabbing drive thru. Worst of all, no power to the coffee pot. I had to drive through Tim Horton’s on my way to work, because I needed my coffee!

No power meant no TV, which was actually very nice. Ella was in such a fun mood when she woke up. We read books, played peak a boo, and goofed around with toys and such. One on one time with our kids without the distraction of modern technology is actually a good thing.

Sam called around 8pm to say that the power had finally come back on. I was glad to hear that because I’m not sure Ella would have fallen asleep without her sound machine on. Not only that, it is supposed to get cold tonight and that would mean no heat. It was still a bit windy tonight, so fingers are crossed that the power remains on through the night.

Funny Story From The Weekend

I neglected to include this story in the Weekend Review Blog from yesterday. As we get closer to the baby’s arrival, we’ve come to realize how NOT ready we are. One of the things we did on Saturday was build his swing. Our living room is basically THE room in our house. When we built Ella’s room, we lost our dining room, so the kitchen table when out in the living room. As we gathered more and more stuff for Ella, the table went to the basement.

So Saturday, we are looking at all the stuff we brought back up for the baby. We have the pack and play, the swing, the furniture that was already in the room, and of course, all of Ella’s stuff. Sam and I stood in the middle of the room deciding just how to rearrange everything to make it all fit. We tossed around a few ideas and eventually moved things to where we have as much space as we can, and still have room for everything. (I still think the ottoman is going to end up back in the basement.)

We crawled into bed that night just exhausted from moving everything around. I turned out the light and laid down. The only sound in the room was the sound of the music from Ella’s room coming from the baby monitor. As I feel my self beginning to doze, in true Sam fashion, she turns to me and says, “You know what I just thought about?! Where in the world are we going to put the Christmas tree this year?!?”

Coffee Sweetness

The Old Favorite

A couple years ago, I blogged about my favorite holiday coffee blend. The Coffee Beanery has a seasonal coffee that comes out right around Thanksgiving that I absolutely love called Cinnamon Holiday Blend.

I usually try to buy a few bags throughout the holiday season and get enough so that I can brew a pot every couple weeks as a treat to myself. I buy the whole bean and grind it before I make it, which keeps it fairly fresh.

A Year Long Delight

I recently tried a blend from a local coffee company that is available all year and it is just amazing. I brought a bag to work and a co-worker commented that it was like “drinking dessert!” I would tend to agree with him. It’s appropriately called Cinnamon Sticky Bun, and it tastes like a cinnamon roll.

The name of the place is a play on the names of the children mentioned in the Daniel Chapter 3 in the Bible. It is called “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abeantogo.” They have two Michigan locations – one in Lake Orion and one in Goodrich. I pass by the Goodrich location on my way home from work and try to stop in and grab a bag of deliciousness.

They deliver if you would like to try it:

https://www.abeantogo.com/

A Coffee You Can’t Refuse

A friend of mine messaged me and told me that she saw a coffee that was “totally” me. As I mentioned in a previous blog, she was familiar with my love of coffee and the Godfather movies. She bought it and sent it to my house. The flavor was Holy Cannoli.

I finally had the chance to brew a pot of this over the weekend and it was just delicious. It truly tasted like a cannoli. If you use flavored creamer, I recommend the Italian Sweet Cream creamer for all of these coffees! I was familiar with Bones Coffee Company, but had never had it, before. After looking at their website, they have a lot of flavors, and I may have to go out of my way to try some others.

You can buy yours here:

https://www.bonescoffee.com/

Cheers!!

Hurry, Spring!

After the HUGE dumping of snow we got a week or so ago, in typical Michigan fashion, we’ve had some warm weather recently. Most of the snow has melted away. The other day, we actually went to the store and didn’t have to wear a coat!

Walking in Sunshine!

We have a small house. Ella looks forward to car rides and just getting out of the house. Today, while I napped before work, Sam took her out for a walk. She was going to put her in the stroller, but now that she is walking, that is what she wanted to do!

It took her a minute to realize she was free to walk around, but when she did, she was off like a rocket!

When I woke up for work, I took her out for a walk, too! She was a bit more tired by the time I took her, so she was a little less cooperative. At one point, she lost her glove. She cracked me up because when it came off, she stared at it on the sidewalk for a few minutes….

…and when it didn’t miraculously go back on her hand, she stared at me like “Are you gonna help me?” “This thing ain’t gonna put itself back on, Daddy!”

She isn’t quite yet to the point where she will walk and hold our hand. I am really looking forward to that and more walks this spring and summer!

Coming soon!

One of the things I have had on my “to blog” list is one word: “Beatles.” As a fan of the Beatles, I have wondered just what I want to write about, their solo stuff, the early stuff, the later stuff, a list of my favorite Beatles songs…I just haven’t been able to decide. The first blog here about the Beatles will be presented by my blogging buddy, Max, who is quite the Beatles fan as well. I’m excited to announce that his guest blog should be making an appearance here in a week or so. I’m looking forward to it and am sure you will enjoy it!

A Brew You Can’t Refuse?

A friend of mine saw this coffee online, and knowing that I love the Godfather movies and coffee, she ordered me a bag of this and sent it to my house. I’m excited to try it. It has “cannoli”in the name of it ….It has to be good, right?

What a wacky dream…

Dreams are funny. So was mine last night.

The above is the cover of a journal you can buy off Amazon to write down your crazy dreams. I have often thought about keeping something like this on my bedside table. I actually had a weird dream last night and wrote it down. As you know, you have to write those things down almost immediately or you are gonna forget them.

I looked back over what I wrote and it is just bizarre. So much of it doesn’t make sense at all. It makes me wonder why I dreamed about these things and the people in it. The dream itself is an unstructured mess. There were so many things, I wrote them in a hurry, because I didn’t want to forget about them.

There is really no beginning of the dream. It starts in my house and my grandpa (who passed away in 1994) is there and he wants to take a shower. He can’t figure out how to use body wash, so he is standing in the hallway in a towel asking for a bar of soap.

As I am getting the bar or soap, the doorbell rings and it is my friend, Margaret.

In the dream, I know she is coming over to baby sit Ella. I talk to her through the speaker on the doorbell and say, “Be right there you Old Bastid.” As soon as I say that, my phone rings.

I answer it and my old boss from Honey Radio, Richard D is on the phone. We often called him the “Old Bastid” at work. I answer the phone and that’s exactly what he says to me, “Uh, I believe that I am the only one worthy of the title, “Old Bastid” and he starts laughing. I’m not even sure how he knew I said this!

Now, I am in the kitchen. I’m making pasta for the boys. I am also aware that I need to hurry because I need to leave for work. My son, Dimitri, looks at me and tells me not to use the sauce I used the last time I made pasta. This in itself is weird, because he doesn’t eat spaghetti sauce. I asked him what sauce he was talking about and he pointed to a jar of salsa!

I am suddenly aware of the time and know I have to leave. Sam is in the kitchen doing the dishes and I go to grab a cup of coffee. I notice that the coffee pot is not in its normal spot and ask Sam where it is. She tells me it is on the kitchen counter (which is literally spotless – so I know this is a dream!). I look at this new “coffee pot” and it looks like a humidifier!

It was PINK! Just like the one above. It has lines on it to show how much coffee is supposed to be in there. I am staring at this thing wondering just how in the heck I am going to make coffee. I don’t even know how to fill the dumb thing! I ask Sam to show me and I am suddenly aware that I am at my dad’s house. This counter isn’t ours at all!

I then notice I am holding an empty salsa jar (so I guess I used it again). I am going to go outside and put the jar in the recycle bin. As I open the door to the garage, I realize that I am now in my grandma’s garage. I know this because it has her old gold olds cutlass in it!

I will always remember it was gold with a white hard top on it.

For some reason, I am now laying on my belly in the garage looking for something that must have rolled under the car. I can see whatever is going on in the front of the house from the garage floor because the garage door isn’t open all the way.

So the dream ends with me laying on the garage floor, in my scrubs. I am watching Margaret and her daughter (my Goddaughter) and maybe her son, all climb into their car to leave. I am waving from under the garage door and then wonder who’s gonna babysit Ella, if she left?!

What a weird dream!!

*Yawn* – I need sleep – or coffee

It’s been an extremely long day for me. I was up early with Ella, had an appointment in the afternoon, and still have to go into work tonight. I’m sure that I’ll be drinking plenty of coffee tonight!

Another Milestone

We’ve been trying to get Ella to sit up. Sam has been doing it with her off and on, and this morning, I sat her up while I was on the floor next to her. She can sit up for a minute or two at a time now! While it is amazing to watch her grow and achieve these amazing milestones, with each one, I am reminded of just how time flies.

Soon, she will be crawling, then walking, then driving! Where’s the pause button?!

Thank You

Thanks for your prayers and your positive vibes! I appreciate them very much. As I mentioned in my last blog, I am working on a few things and am not really to the point where I want to go into detail. I will just say that things are progressing and hopefully things will fall into place. One never knows what to expect when you take a chance on the unknown, but I certainly pray that this is an opportunity to do big things. I’d appreciate if you’d keep sending those prayers!

Am I The Only One Who Thinks This?

So I had a meeting this afternoon. During this meeting everyone is wearing masks. There are no handshakes. There is social distancing. As I looked at everyone else in their masks, I began to think, “We’re all Wilson from Home Improvement!” All we could see were each other’s eyes! “Hi Dee Ho, Neighbor!”

I Thought This Was Cool

I may have mentioned this before, but it is weird to watch baseball without fans in the stands. I recently saw this on Facebook and had to give kudos. Imagine you’ve bought season tickets to see your favorite team play, and then Covid hits and you cannot see the games. The Pittsburgh Pirates sent this to one of their season ticket holders:

How cool is that?! I always hope to catch a foul ball at a ball game. I’m sure this fan had to be excited to get this. Kudos to the Pirates for doing this!

Your Feel Good Internet Moment …

During “Quarantine 2020” many folks stayed at home and binge watched TV shows. Jennifer Garner recently binged watched all the episodes of The Office. The series finale brought her to tears. She actually recorded her reaction, but accidentally recorded it in slow motion. This led many of the stars of the show to respond to her post. It’s worth the watch – see it at the link below:

https://www.msn.com/en-us/tv/news/the-office-stars-weigh-in-on-jennifer-garners-emotional-finale-reaction-video/ar-BB18mbxe?li=BBnb7Kz

I Need To Nap!

With that, I will sign off! Need to snooze before work – gonna be a long night!

Thanks for reading! *Yawn*

Coffee Problems and Breaking a Habit

If you are a frequent reader of this blog, or a friend of mine, you know how much I love my coffee.  Coffee is as important to me as water.  When we made our list of things to buy to have during quarantine, coffee was at the top of my list.  When there was talk of power outages, I bought instant coffee because I knew I could boil water and make some.  I have decaff coffee for nights that I crave it, but know I will be heading to bed soon.  I gotta have my coffee.

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This week I had not one, but two coffee mishaps.  I guess technically, I should mention that it was the same mishap – and I did it twice.  Back when my coffee pot died, my wife and I bought each other a new pot.  It works for both of us in that it can make a pot or a single cup.

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One of the things I love about this pot is that while it is brewing a pot, I can pull the carafe and pour a cup and it doesn’t drip onto the burner.  When the carafe is on the burner, it pushes up on a spring which allows coffee to drip from the basket containing the beans into the carafe.  When the carafe is not on the burner, the spring drops and water collects in the filter until the carafe is places back on the burner.  Why am I telling you all of this? It helps when I tell you about my mishap.

Twice this week, I filled the pot, put the coffee in the filter, put the carafe in place and hit the “brew” button.  Both times, I started to hear weird noises and smelled something burning.  When I returned, I found steam billowing out of the top and water running onto the burner.  Why?  Because in my stupidity, I neglected to put the carafe in all the way.  So it was only halfway on the burner.  That means that the spring was never pushed up to allow the water to flow out of the filter basket.  Instead, the basket, with coffee grounds, overflowed and spilled onto the burner and all over my coffee bar.  It was a mess!!  There were grounds all over the place.

When it happened the first time, I told myself I would be more careful.  Yet, within two days, I did the same exact thing!!  Twice I had to clean the entire pot and coffee bar.  I can’t even tell you why I did it again.  My head must not be in the right place.

Coffee Funny

So while Sam was pregnant, I was making some flavored coffee.  She asked me what I was making and I told her.  She stated that the coffee smelled like “the soap from the car wash!” You know the smell, don’t you?!

car wash

While she was pregnant, I stopped buying it.  Recently, I found a bag of it under the coffee bar, so I brewed some.  This time, Sam says, “Is that cherry?  It smells like cherry.  Is that the car wash coffee?”  I told her it was.

coffee cherry

It made me laugh – and it made me understand the ways a woman’s sense of smell is heightened and changes when they are pregnant!

Bad Habit Broken

“Don’t bite your nails.  Your nails don’t bite you.” – Soupy Sales

I guess I have always had some form of anxiety, because I have always been a nail biter. My nails have always looked like hell.  I have always tried to stop, but have never had success.  I guess one good thing has come from this Covid-19 BS – I haven’t chewed on my nails in about three weeks.

All the talk about touching your face, and washing your hands really made me aware of every time I went to bite my nails.  It’s a nervous and terrible habit.  I became aware of just how many times I went to bite my nails over the past few weeks.  Every time I went to do it, I envisioned the Covid virus living on them.  Made it easy to stop.

I gotta be honest, it feels weird to have nails.  I am hoping that I can keep it up.  Maybe I’ll go and get a manicure when this quarantine is all over!  Pass the nail clippers….

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… and pass the coffee.

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Me: From A to Z

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By far not the most original blog idea, but this stems from a daily writing prompt.  What is cool about something like this, is that I can probably return to this idea a few times and come up with some different answers.  The idea is to take all 26 letters of the alphabet and describe yourself with each one.  It shouldn’t take too long.  Why not do your own in the comments?  Here is Me … from A to Z:

A     Always early (“If you’re on time, you’re late!”

B     Blessed (with friends, family, and so many things)

C     Coffee drinker.  (Not sure how I’d make it through the day without it)

D     Daddy to Dante’, Dimitri, and Ella (I love them all so much!)

E     Emotional.  (I am probably too emotional.  I cry at sappy TV commercials!)

F     Friend.  (I have some of the greatest friends.  I treasure those friendships.)

G     Gaining weight. (About 25 pounds over the course of my wife’s pregnancy)

H     Happy. (I am the happiest I have ever been in my life.)

I     Italian.  (Proud of my Italian heritage.)

J     Jokes.  (I love hearing them.  I love telling them.)

K     Kind. (One of the greatest things we can be is kind to one another.)

L     Laughs a lot. (Laughter is important.  Life is better with laughter.)

M     Music lover. (“Where words fail, music speaks.” Music is SO important to me.)

N     Night Owl. (Yeah, I work midnights, but I have always been a night owl.)

O     Old Stuff. (Love old TV shows, old radio shows, old movies, etc…)

P     Procrastinator.  (One of my bad habits.  I tend to wait till the last minute to do things)

Q     Quotes.  (Might be a line from a TV show or movie, or a famous quote to apply to life)

R     Radio Personality. (The thing I wish I was still doing full time.)

S     Sam’s husband. (She has made me the happiest man alive.  She is my one true love)

T     Trumpet. (Wish I was still playing it in a band.)

U     Unique. (The easy answer, but it’s true.  We are ALL unique!)

V     Vague (Like this answer, for example)

W     Weird Al Yankovic.  (We’re both weird and I have all his albums.)

X     XOXO (I always kiss and hug those I love!)

Y     Young (Something I wish I was again!)

Z     Zoo (I love the Zoo.  Love going with my kids.  Favorite animal:  The Otter)

The Always Fully Stocked Pantry

My friend Margaret posted this picture on my Facebook page today saying that it “reminds me of visiting grandma’s pantry!”:

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I totally laughed out loud at this picture!  The dude has a shopping cart!!!  I can totally relate to this!  My grandma’s pantry was literally a grocery store! Perhaps this is because she lived through the depression.  I really don’t know, but she was always bargain shopping.  I remember my dad taking her to three different grocery stores on the same day because of the different sales going on!  Coffee is on sale at Farmer Jack …..

farmer jack

Toilet paper is on sale at A&P ….

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They have a sale on paper towel at Kroger ….

Kroger

The pantry

We rarely went into my grandma’s basement.  I don’t really recall why.  Perhaps that’s why I can only recall certain things about it.  I remember there being an extra stove down there, which she used for baking Christmas cookies.  I remember the washer and dryer and laundry area.  There was a huge freezer where she stored Wonder Bread, and meat.  I also remember a small area with peg board where my grandpa had some tools.  The one thing that I can remember vividly, is the pantry!

The pantry was directly under the stairs.  I think there was a sheet or a curtain that was used for a “door”.  In the middle of the pantry was a string that hung down from a light fixture that you pulled to turn on the light.  Once you turned on the light, you could see countless shelves, stocked fully of everything and anything!

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It was insane!  It was SO full, we used to call it “Kroger”! The above picture would be a fairly accurate comparison to my grandma’s pantry, except it was hardly as wide!  Looking at this picture made me chuckle, because as I look at it, I see many similar items that grandma had.  I see the countless boxes of noodles (which my grandma ALWAYS had).  I remember her having Prince noodles.

SpaghettiR

There was a Prince facility close to our house (off of Groesbeck Highway, I think) which had a sign, which was a HUGE box of noodles.  On the back of it was their slogan “Wednesday is Prince Spaghetti Day!”

One thing that I see in the pantry pic that would NEVER be in grandma’s pantry is jarred spaghetti sauce!  As I have said in previous blogs, grandma made her sauce from scratch every Sunday!  So instead of the jars, there would be can after can of Contadina Sauce, Paste, and Puree.

contadina

I remember there being hundreds of cans of Contadina!  Cans of all sizes lined the shelves of the pantry!!

I made more frequent visits to the pantry when I had moved to Ludington when I was 21.  I would come home every other weekend and see my folks, my girlfriend at the time, and my grandparents.  I always left with a box of stuff to take home.  She made sure I always had things I wouldn’t necessarily think about.  Things like dish soap.

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Always looking for the bargain, my grandma probably had the cheapest dish soap ever made!  It was this pink generic brand that hardly made a bubble when you washed with it!  The pantry was full of this!  It was so cheap that I think I used an entire bottle every two weeks!  I can’t describe the smell of it, but I’d know it immediately if I caught a whiff of it today!!

Another thing she always sent with me was bath soap – Lux to be exact.4d3cabc87712e9cd28271ecab52e7bd7

I think my entire family razzed her about this soap!  She didn’t care.  She was an advertiser’s dream client!  When I asked her why she bought so much, she told me “Movie stars use that!!”  She obviously had heard commercials and seen print ads featuring Loretta Young, Jean Simmons, and Natalie Wood!!

As far as I know, there were no Lux ads with men promoting it!

Another shelf was loaded up with Ketchup.  I’m sorry, Catsup.  I remember grandma using Del Monte for most of my childhood, but at some point, switched to Hunts or Heinz.

del monte

Just what is the difference between Ketchup and Catsup anyway?!  We must have used a different brand at home, because I remember the ketchup at grandma’s house tasted different.  Maybe because (according to the picture above) Del Monte used PINEAPPLE to make it?!?

Another thing that was always in grandma’s pantry was Velvet peanut butter! It had three faces on the front and they all had names (kind of like Rice Krispies Snap, Crackle and Pop) Fresh, Pure, and Delicious.

Velvet_Peanut_Butter_Picture_400x400

I remember grandma making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with crunchy Velvet and apple or strawberry jelly.  She always saved the glass jars that the peanut butter came in.  They became storage for things like screws and bolts for my grandpa, as he had them lining his workbench under the pegboard.

The other things I remember from the pantry were not kept on a shelf.  There was a little area off of the door where grandma kept her storage containers.  These would be the various containers that would eventually hold the numerous cookies that she would send home with us every year.

My favorite was always the Better Made Potato Chip Can.  She would place a layer of different cookies in it starting at the bottom.  One layer would be ice box cookies, next would be sugar cookies, next were sesame seed cookies, followed by oatmeal raisin and chocolate chip.  It seemed like a million cookies in that can, although it probably only held a little over 100.

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It’s truly amazing how something like a picture can bring back something you had totally forgotten about!  Thank you, Margaret, for the laugh and for allowing me to revisit grandma’s pantry, I mean, Kroger!  Until my next visit …. let me just turn off the light ….

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